You Can Take the Boy Out of Ebbets Field But You Can’t Take Ebbets Field Out of the Boy

Don Burris has created an A1 museum to the Dodgers—in his own home.

Published in 2008 Southern California Super Lawyers — February 2008

Don Burris says one of the worst moments of his life came when he rushed home from grade school on Oct. 3, 1951, just in time to catch the last inning of the last game of a three-game league-championship playoff between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. “Bobby Thomson hit a home run,” Burris remembers sadly. “It was ‘The shot heard round the world,’ and the Dodgers lost. It was one of my worst moments ever and everyone was in mourning for days.”

Since that time, Burris has become a successful attorney, finally ending up at Burris & Schoenberg in Los Angeles, which is, to his good luck, the same city in which the former Brooklyn Dodgers also landed. He continued the tradition his father began a few decades earlier, taking his own young children to Dodgers games at Dodger Stadium.

But the new Dodgers weren’t really like the Bums from Brooklyn. So when he moved into his new house in Santa Monica in 1994, he decided to set aside one room for a museum to Dem Bums.

This may be one of the best-stocked museums in the country devoted to the Brooklyn Dodgers (Burris discovered eBay just about the same time he bought his new home). There’s a row of real first-base-side seats from Ebbets Field where visitors can sit while watching a wall-sized TV playing kinescopes of old Dodgers games. Among the photos that crowd the walls is one of Jackie Robinson going out to bat for his first time at Ebbets, and another one of the Dodgers’ version of Murderers Row: Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Spider Jorgenseon and Eddie Stanky. On the bookshelves are scores of books about both Brooklyn in the old days and the Dodgers—and Burris has read every one.

He has hundreds of valuable baseball cards, dating back to the early 1940s, personal letters from Dodgers players, old tickets and scrapbooks full of other memorabilia, and a complete set of Dodgers yearbooks, including one from 1954 that has a drawing of a new stadium described as “their new home in Brooklyn.”

So how much is it all worth? Echoing the MasterCard commercials, Burris says it’s priceless.

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